We all know that getting water on the fire as quickly as possible is the best way to avoid bad situations. We also know that some of the best in the business have been confronted with situations beyond their control even after doing all the right things and were forced to make very tough decisions for survival.
Our, (Engine House Training, LLC), class is not an excuse for a lack of training in fundamental firefighting, rather it is a class that focuses on techniques and skills to have available to you should you be confronted with a situation that is beyond your control.
We started our training company with the intent to focus on what firefighters need and to provide a resource to our state and region that was not readily available. What we found were many departments buying harnesses and bailout kits for their members, but not providing them with the training that is required to be as efficient as possible at using that equipment. So, began our journey to provide that training. With the help of instructors who had trained extensively on firefighter rescue, RIT and bailout training, our instructors developed a 'no frills, basic, high rep.' bailout class that focuses on technique over just jumping out a window.
Just like in hose advancement, search, ventilation and rescue, there are basic tasks and skill sets that must be recognized and mastered in to be able to use this when you don't have much time to think. Luckily, what we have found is that height is not the important part of training on bailout. We use and highly recommend the low prop (many us it for basement drills) for continued bailout training. It's easy to build, reusable and allows those with bailout kits to maintain their skills and technique.
Some of those skills include clearing the window, hand placement for the hook, staying low in the window, window hangs, slack proficiency for your device and the hang.
Additionally, we must be proficient at knowing where we are in a building. We can't bailout a window if we don't know where the window is! This goes back to basic room orientation that we might use during search drills.
Luckily two of our instructors taught the St. Louis Fire Department how to use their kits. In addition, one of those instructors, Capt. Mario Montero is able to share his experience of having to jump from a third floor, residential window with a fellow firefighter. His story and ours is in the link below to our first Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Show a few years ago.
As the weeks march towards FDIC we will be sharing short video clips and blog posts about our class and the techniques we use. Please check out our class promo video and listen to our radio show. Thanks and we'll see you at FDIC 2015!